When Wake Forest’s Nick Kurtz hit a leadoff double off of the right field wall to begin a three-run first inning in its Sunday matchup with Boston College baseball, it looked as though Sunday afternoon’s game was headed in the same direction as the first two games of the series.
After defeating BC in Friday and Saturday’s games by scores of 20–8 and 15–10, respectively, Wake Forest watched its lead slip away on Sunday, as the Eagles (12–16, 2–10 Atlantic Coast) clawed their way back for a come-from-behind victory.
“So we’re down early, and the sort of reaction was like, ‘Okay here we go,’” head coach Mike Gambino said after the game. “The thing with this team [is] we know we’re not going to quit.”
Wake Forest dominated the first two innings, as the Demon Deacons found offensive success against BC starter Mason Pelio. Going into the third, the score was 5–2 in Wake Forest’s favor.
But that’s when the momentum began to shift.
Julian Tonghini took the mound in the third to relieve Pelio. The freshman looked like a veteran on the mound, giving up one earned run over three innings. During that span, the Eagles’ offense backed up Tonghini’s effort, tacking on four runs in the fourth inning.
“He was awesome,” Gambino said. “He’s really, really special. He’s an awesome kid.”
After Daniel Baruch was hit by a pitch, Barry Walsh hit a sky-high fly ball to right field that flew over the fence for a two-run home run. Then, after Rafe Chaumette singled and Cameron Leary walked, Luke Gold continued the Eagles’ hot streak with an RBI single. After a fielder’s choice off the bat of Joe Vetrano advanced Leary to third base, Parker Landwehr hit a sacrifice fly to bring Leary home and give the Eagles the lead.
After Wake Forest scored one in the top of the fifth, the teams headed into the sixth inning tied at six. Senior reliever Henry Leake took the mound for BC to start the inning. Leake pitched two near-flawless innings, striking out four and giving up just one hit and one walk.
Fans rose for the seventh-inning stretch with the score still locked at six apiece.
Landwehr then stepped up to the plate and crushed a solo home run that gave the Eagles their first lead of the game.
After Eric Adler retired the next three Eagles in order, reliever Brendan Coffey took the mound, replacing Leake. After allowing Wake Forest’s first two batters to reach base, Coffey induced a double play and a subsequent strikeout to get out of the inning with BC’s lead still intact.
A scoreless bottom of the eighth left the Demon Deacons with three outs left to score. But Coffey refused to let his team get swept over the weekend. Coffey retired Wake Forest’s batters in order in the bottom of the inning, to preserve BC’s one-run lead through the end of the game.
“I was really proud of this group,” Gambino said. “[We’ll] feel really good about this now, and tomorrow we move on to Northeastern.”
Featured Image by Steve Mooney / Heights Editor